Special Instruments is working on a gargantuan 1100-series camera that has a 112 megapixel CCD and is reportedly capable of shooting photos of both the sun and the stars in broad daylight. Special Instruments, an Arizona-based company that builds cameras for scientific applications, reportedly cooled the chip to -100 degrees Celsius to eliminate “dark current”, thus allowing the exposures to last for hours while remaining crisp. Technically, the term dark current is the relatively small electric current that flows through photosensitive devices such as a photo-diode or a charge-coupled device (CCD).
Fstoppers met up with Zeke, a mechanical engineer who works for Spectral Instruments. Zeke said that the large camera including its 95mm x 95mm (3.7-inch) sensor is mainly used in space, but added that he wanted to make one into a working camera so that any avid photographer could use it. The engineer further explained that the sensors are very expensive, and that his company isn’t willing to invest on the production of camera unless it sees a huge response. So far we don’t really know how this camera works. We can only judge the prototype based on the company’s description of it. But if it’s indeed a 112 megapixel camera, it will be interesting.